Covid-19 cases children Covid-19 infections vaccine vaccination adolescents
Petugas barisan hadapan melakukan ujian saringan COVID-19 terhadap seorang kanak-kanak.

By Kumara Sabapatty

KUALA LUMPUR – The administration of Covid-19 vaccine for students aged between 12 and 17 is to reduce the risk of infection at schools.

Director-General of Health, Tan Sri Dr. Noor Hisham Abdullah said that the vaccination can then avoid cases and clusters involving schools.

“Statistics shows a concerning increasing Covid-19 infection trend among children (0-18 years-old) in Malaysia.

“Thus, it is also worrying to see death statistics where there are 67 deaths among children reported this year as of 19 September 2021, compared to six deaths involving children in 2020,” he said in a statement today.

“Therefore, MOH recommends that 60 percent from the children aged 12 to 17 to get at least one dose of vaccine by November 2021 and 80 percent of those who are eligible would get their complete dose before the school reopens for the 2022 session,” he said.

He added, the National Pharmaceutical Regulatory Agency (NPRA) has granted the conditional approval for children aged 12 years and above to be vaccinated against Covid-19.

Therefore, he advised parents and guardians to register eligible children for the vaccine through their educational institutions and via MySejahtera.

“Educational, protection, rehabilitation and detention institutions are required to register their institutions through to enable vaccination scheduling for children in their institutions by the District Health Offices. Meanwhile, vaccination registration in MySejahtera application is required for children outside institutions,” he said.

Meanwhile, Dr. Noor Hisham said, similar to other medication, Covid-19 vaccine also has adverse reactions that are usually light and its recipients would recover from it within a short time.

He also said that the parents of children who have just got their vaccine injections must be aware of symptoms such as pain and swelling at injection site, fatigue, headache, muscle soreness, shivering and fever.

Besides that, very rare adverse reactions such as myocarditis and pericarditis could also happen.

Nevertheless, the adverse reactions usually happen after the second dose, or several days after vaccination and it happens more frequently among boys, he said.

Dr Noor Hisham said that the risk of myocarditis and pericarditis is lower than the risk of heart inflammation caused by Covid-19 infection, which is 37 times higher.

He also added that parents should monitor their children for early signs of adverse reactions such as chest pain, difficulty in breathing and palpitation after their children get their vaccine. They need to seek immediate health assessment and treatment.

“Children must be monitored and avoid strenuous activities within a week after vaccination.

“Parents and guardians with enquiries about the Covid-19 vaccination programme are advised to seek medical advice from paediatricians or certified medical practitioners for more information,” he said.

However, Dr Noor Hisham said that the benefit of Covid-19 vaccine outweighs the harm of the virus infection. -MalaysiaGazette

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